Editor’s Note: An Ode to Our Writers

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Since 2009, Civil Eats has produced thousands of stories from a stable of hundreds of contributors and broken news on underreported stories. From state and federal policy to agroecology to urban farming and school lunch to food stamps, Civil Eats’ have reported on the most important food and agriculture stories of our time, profiled hundreds of innovative models, and provided a steady stream of insightful commentary and analysis.

We owe much of our success to the talent, dedication, and fearlessness of our writers and commentators, many of whom wrote for us pro-bono for years. Their keen sense of why these stories matter and how to tell them has won them (and the site) several accolades and awards. I am indebted to them for their passion, commitment, and craft. Now that we’re able to pay our writers, we’ve been able to add a new roster of reporters who continue to shape the debate around food and farming and are helping put Civil Eats on the map. Read More

More Tax Dollars Going to Train New Farmers Than Ever Before

Deputy Ag Secretary Krysta Harden announced this year's grant awards at Recirculating Farms Coalition in New Orleans.

At New Orleans’ Recirculating Farms Coalition (RFC), vegetables grow in an intricate system of recirculating aquaculture systems and raised garden beds. Founded in 2009, the nonprofit organization trains urban farmers in both soil-based farming and fish farming—a combination that provides food for the local community.

Now, thanks to a federal grant, RFC has received $500,000 to create a more robust free training program for budding urban farmers, specifically targeting its outreach and support to new farmers in some of the most low-income and underserved communities in New Orleans: Central City, Algiers, New Orleans East, the Seventh Ward, and the Ninth Ward. Read More

What Americans Can Learn From a Beautiful French Film About Farming

Still from After Winter, Spring.

In the opening scene of the film After Winter, Spring a French farmer name Guy spots the stony edges of an ancient farm tool peeking up through the ground in his field. He holds the tool in his hand, proof that people have cultivated the Périgord region in southwest France for more than 4000 years.

“That does something to you, to know we’re a speck of dust to all that has come before,” he says.

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All the News That’s Fit to Eat: Chocolate Changing, Fair Trade Slipping, and Trans-Atlantic Trade

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Get caught up on some of the top food news of this week.

1. Food Waste Is Becoming Serious Economic and Environmental Issue, Report Says (New York Times)

Just in case we didn’t already know that food waste was a huge international problem, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a daunting report this week that turns up the volume on the message. Read More

How Emulsifiers Are Messing with Our Guts (and Making Us Fat)

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Scan the fine print on almost any processed food in the grocery store and you’re likely to find emulsifiers: Ingredients such as polysorbate 80, lecithin, carrageenan, polyglycerols, and xanthan and other “gums,” all of which keep ingredientsoften oils and fatsfrom separating. They are also used to improve the texture and shelf-life of many foods found in supermarkets, from ice cream and baked goods, to salad dressings, veggie burgers, non-dairy milks, and hamburger patties.

Now, a new study released today in the journal Nature suggests these ingredients may also be contributing to the rising incidence of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease by interfering with microbes in the gastrointestinal tract, known asgut microbio.” Read More